Home > Uncategorized > Hopedance vs. The Library

Hopedance vs. The Library

Bob Banner, the editor and publisher of HopeDance magazine, will be on Hometown Radio Monday at 5:05 to discuss his battle with the county library system after library director Brian Reynolds ordered staff to toss copies of the most recent issue of HD.

Let me try that again — Brian Reynolds ordered staff to toss copies of the most recent issue of HD.

I have seen the issue in question and the entire magazine is devoted to a frank discussion of sexuality from all sorts of aspects. Personally, I thumbed through it and then tossed it in my recycling bin, and didn’t give it a second thought. Apparently Brian (who is a good and decent man) was getting some complaints and thought the issue inappropriate for young people.

But, time out, Brian. How many times have you and your fellow librarians whined and complained over the years about books being banned and censorship at the library by the public? How can you possibly turn around and ban a magazine, ordering your staff to THROW AWAY copies?????????? I’ve never heard of a librarian take such a contrarian position. Would it not have been more appropriate merely to take the copies and stash them behind the main desk and give them away to adults on request?

Bob is talking about suing the county — that seems extreme, but he has the right to be upset.

Should be an interesting segment. Tune in, call in!

  1. Rich from Paso
    August 21, 2006 at 1:58 am

    Dave, is right on the money with this one. How can librarians, like Brian, complain about how intrusive the Patriot Act is on the 1st Amendment and then this guy bans a publication and has them thrown in the trash? Smell like hypocracy to me.

  2. Marilyn
    August 22, 2006 at 4:45 am


    It is nice to talk about something besides war for a change (where I am concerned at least).

    I understand Brian’s dilemma, but he should have thought it through before deciding to remove the copies. If he had been more solid about his position or knowledge of what is permitted or not, he would not have succumbed to the pressure. He may be having second thoughts now and I do not anticipate this being overblown unless the media start spinning it out of control. Hopefully, this has been a learning experience for everyone, including Brian. After all, we all learn by trial.

    I also understand how a city official can be placed in an uncomfortable position by local citizens who feel high and mighty about their concerns. Such people tend to be extremely vocal and insistent, whereas folks who are not bothered by the issue are usually quiet. That is the reason why a few loud and sometimes beligerent protests can haven more of an impact than the quieter majority. That is the reality of our form of politics.

    I think sex is great; I think nudity is perfectly normal; and I think that it is about time we started to acknowlege that it is a natural part of our existence instead of hiding it from our children.

    To some, sex is a painful experience to be endured as a duty, to some it is a path to power and control, to some it is a means to achieve an end, to some it is a way to buy security, to some it is used in the hope of achieving intimacy, but to many it is an act of intimacy that cements a fulfilling relationship (one would hope).

    Having been a student of anthropology and one interested in human behavior, I have come to notice that there is a certain degree of discomfort with intimacy. Western culture equates intimacy with sex. The two are not mutually inculisve all the time.

    Our society is promiscuous with sex, but is reluctant to discuss it. Our women dress provocatively, but they are not comfortable with intimacy (men are in far deeper trouble).

    Sex was also our punishment for eating from the forbidden tree (the tree of the knowledge of good and evil). If we internalize such mythology, it starts to affect how we feel about ourselves and the people we are attracted to. The forbidden fruit of the tree is synonymous with sex.

    We are creatures who thrive on and are vanquished by symbols.

    Ultimately, sex and sexual expression are a personal right and a personal responsibility. They only becomes part of public domain when the rights of others are involved and when there is lack of consent.

    Free speech and the freedom of information are rights guaranteed to our citizens. At issue is what we DO with such freedoms. Stating sex is wonderful and makes one feel good is perfectly normal, but using sex to extort people is illegal and immoal.

    Using nudity and/or sex to solicit minors or people incapable of informed consent is in violation of that right and is a federal crime.

    Our society is enamoured with sex and violence but abhors analysing either and is uncomfotable discussing them. Used together, they have been the greatest subjugators of individuals, groups and nations.

    Marilyn Farhat

  3. Dave Congalton
    August 22, 2006 at 6:45 am

    One correction needs to be made to my original post. The Tribune article indicated that Bob Banner was going to sue the county over this, but bob made it clear tonight that he NEVER said that to the Tribune and he doesn’t know where they got that from.

    The Tribune strikes again . . . . . .

  4. Anonymous
    August 23, 2006 at 2:16 am

    Travis in SLO Pasted my favorite blog. Here is what was said today for those interested.


    Evan wrote: (the founder)

    Five years ago today, I launched the Brain Terminal website. It was one
    of the first political blogs around (the esteemed Instapundit.com is
    only two weeks older), although at the time, the number of people who
    knew what the word “blog” meant could probably have fit into a small

    I take a short look back at the last five years of Brain Terminal here:


    I’m also using the anniversary to launch a new website:


    This site replaces the now-defunct discussion board on Brain Terminal,
    but provides a lot more functionality. You can:

    * Submit links to news stories
    * Start your own blog to voice your opinion
    * Talk with other users in the forum
    * Create polls to ask other users what they think

    Although these features provide a marked improvement to the old
    discussion board, my purpose for creating this new site is larger than
    simple software upgrade. I wanted to address the problems that cause
    many online communities to disintegrate over time.

    If you’ve participated in online discussions, you may have noticed a
    familiar dynamic: once online communities grow beyond a certain size,
    the level of discourse tends to deteriorate. The people who contributed
    to the value of the community when it was small are often turned off
    driven away, hastening the decline.

    Many online groups were founded around specific ideas, and the people
    interested in those ideas typically share common assumptions. But
    when that community is confronted with people who don’t share the
    assumptions, reasoned debate gives way to a mob mentality. Most of the
    people in the minority position were driven away, and those who stayed
    tended to be folks looking for a fight instead of a discussion.

    Free Speech Free-for-all is an experiment. Can the operational behavior
    of a website be designed to avoid the common pitfalls of online
    communities? Can the problem be solved with well-designed software?

    The goal is to build a more robust online community, one where the
    participants hold diverse views and debate them vigorously, but in a
    reasoned way that does not lead to neverending flamewars.

    If you want to learn more about the philosophy behind the site and how
    it will work, please visit:



    A number of early adopters from the old Brain Terminal discussion group
    are already there. I hope you’ll join them!

    To another 5 years,

  5. rob in los osos
    August 23, 2006 at 2:05 pm


    Your post is quite eloquent. I appreciate your perspective in all things and wish you to know that I have enjoyed your visits to this blog and to dave’s show.

    I frequently have discussions with other parents about movie and video game content. While most are willing to let their kids watch scenes of violence, they cringe at the thought of their kids seeing nudity or a sexual act. Is this the base instinct that we are instilling in our future generations – that violence is ok and a normal part of life, but sex is something to remain taboo and hidden? It seems our world reflects these misplaced values to an alarming degree.

    As Nick Lowe said – ‘whats so funny about peace, love, and understanding’

  6. Marilyn
    August 24, 2006 at 5:19 am

    Thanks Rob from Los Osos.

    It is nice to know that sometimes we can listen to each other even though we may not agree on everything.

    True, it is amazing how most video games are violent, but when I talk to the male children, teenagers, and adults about the violence in games, I get, “oh mom! Games would be ‘gay’ without ‘action.'”

    I think we have become desensitized towards violence. However, I still thinkthat those who encounter violence close up are affected by it considerably. Sometimes it takes years, but it catches up with you. I have been around it and work around it and have talked to people who lived it and most have a deep discomfort with who they are, especially if they have killed.

    Those exposed to violence can lose their ability toward intimacy on many levels. It is the fear of loss.

    I think we are intoxicated with the superficial aspects of our lives. We are so busy working (a lot) that we do not have time to think about life and what is going on in the world.

    Sex, drugs, alcohol, workaholism, “acion movies” become the escape because deep down we know we are hostage to our excesses.

    Maybe there will come a time when we will truly wake up to what we are within.

    Marilyn Farhat.

  7. Anonymous
    August 25, 2006 at 6:47 am

    Hey Marilyn,

    I would like to visit Pirate’s cove with you. It is totally non-sexual down there. People just being people. You otta try it if you haven’t. Look forward to it! Peace out!

  8. paul in margarita
    August 26, 2006 at 5:23 pm

    I’ve started this comment three times now and have abandoned it everytime. But I just can’t let this go unchallenged;
    There is absolutely no reason to equate the forbidden fruit in the book of Genesis with sexual activity. None. The Torah doesn’t teach that, the Rabbi’s didn’t teach that, Jesus didn’t teach that,the early church fathers didn’t teach that. I’m not sure where the idea originated but it’s not from the bible. God told Adam and Eve to be fruitful and multiply which would be hard to do without sex unless you’re an amoeba.

    As far as the Hopedance issue goes, I wasn’t able to read it, but from the comments of Bob’s supporters it sounds like Brian did the right thing. I doubt any more copies of the magazine are getting recycled than usual anyway. Has anybody heard from Brian in this? Did he object to the picture on the cover or was it the articles? Maybe your ” gotcha! ” jokes about the Trib really were as childish as they sounded.

    I keep hearing about how sexually oppressed we are as a society, and I think it needs to be put on the list of things that are too ridiculous to be repeated any more. We are obsessed with sex. It’s everywhere and in everything. When I feel the time is right I can talk to my children about it. I know and love my kids, and I (better than you) know when, if ever, the subject of sacred prostitution should come up. It’s not your place to decide.
    You’ve got the freedom to print what you want, but you’ve also got the responsibility to the communities you’re a part of to show some respect to those who might not agree with your worldview. It’s just being a good neighbor. There’s a proverb I think all local journalists should have tattooed on their forearms- “he who troubles his own household shall inherit the wind.”

  9. rob in los osos
    August 27, 2006 at 6:27 am

    paul –
    the issue is whether a librarian has the right to censor what other people want to read. If he had a problem with the cover and/or content he could have kept the issues covered (like they do with Cosmo in grocery stores) or behind the counter. Instead he told all the libraries to dump the issues. That’s censorship pure and simple. Let me understand this – if there is something in a book or magazine that you dont like, then it’s ok for you to keep others from reading it?

    The issue of kids keeps coming up. That magazine is written for adults. It is a parents job to be aware of what their kids are doing and reading – not a librarian’s, not yours. I agree it is every parents job to discuss and educate their kids about everything, and frankly it seems that most parents do their best. But no one is trying to educate your kids behind your back. That is your job, as it is also your job to know what your kids are reading.
    Did you read the issue? It doesnt seem that you did. Do you really think you can critcize something you haven’t read? Everything in that issue was well written and researched. It wasn’t explicit, it certainly wasnt pornographic.

  10. paul in margarita
    August 29, 2006 at 2:27 am

    hey rob,
    my guess is that to brian it wasn’t plain and simple at all. The library system is strapped for cash and apparently isn’t thought of highly enough by the public to raise extra money for it. He made a judgement call that I don’t think rises to the level of scandal, it’s not like he purged the county of Hopedance magazine. Maybe he could have handled it better, maybe bob could have called him with a heads up. I think the whole thing would have been best handled between the two of them instead of stirrin the poop not only on dave’s show but on the morning show as well. i don’t want cencorship any more than you do. i don’t care for sensationalism either, and that’s what it seemed like to me.

    when i was a kid, we all knew where to find stashed playboys, we knew what page the sex scenes in the book “the godfather” were. all these things were stumbled on by one of the neighborhood kids and the news spread like wildfire. now most kids i’m sure see that stuff and go on and are just fine, but not all of them. some kids get screwed up by being exposed to things that they aren’t mature enough to handle. not all parents are equiped to rationally deal with their children’s sexuality. i think we as members of a society, have a responsibility to be as careful as possible that we don’t trample on people in the excercise of our rights. you know even as i write this the news is on talking about jon benet and how the dna in her panties doesn’t match the guy’s. it just seems to me that we have lost something important. do 4 or 5 year olds even need to have that information in their heads? most of us don’t care- we have rights. i think there must be a better way of conducting ourselves in the public forum. especially on the local level.

  11. JerryDinAZ
    August 29, 2006 at 2:47 pm


  12. Spacetrekker
    August 30, 2006 at 4:13 am

    I would like to thank Dave for ‘airing’ out this issue and for Rich & Marilyn & Paul’s contributions.

    Seems to me that Brian’s action of dumping copies of the publication was not one worthy of a librarian in the U.S.A.

    Perhaps his decision can be seen as a clue of where this country is going. I would like to call your attention (most of you already know this) to the following information. This is a quote from taken from the Washington Post, printed July 11, 2006:

    “Last month’s tenfold increase in broadcast indecency fines has sent radio and television stations and media giants scurrying to protect themselves, as the cost of uttering a dirty word over the air has turned a minor annoyance into a major business expense.”

    President Bush signed this into law in June 2006.

    Yes – It will cost hundreds of thousands of dollars for each unacceptable word uttered over the airwaves. If you are in agreement with this policy because you think, feel or have faith that some words are harmful, I would ask you to please hold your hand six inches from your mouth and at the maximum volume and intention you can muster, issue those words verbally toward your hand. If you have any broken bones or bleeding as a result of this, please contact me directly because a motion picture about you will be produced in the near future and I would like to be a part of it.

    It’s simple – the United States government is telling you that you will not comunicate certain things to others. It’s media control. It’s control of what information us citizens can receive over the air. It’s abolishment of the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.

    The entity we know as the Federal Communications Commission now exists not to protect and enforce that which we hold dear – the United States Constitution, but rather, as a hideous tool for the powers-that-are to use against us and OUR constitution.

    Switching gears now, back toward the subject: Sex (and communication about it)

    If it were not for sex, you would not be reading this. How, in the most convoluted version of heaven, did sex become a bad thing? I will tell you why. It is because the act, notion, thought and/or dream of it has been suppressed for eons. When you instill the idea that some natural act is not natural and must be hidden, you create all sorts of insanities.

    My youngest daughter is seventeen. Both her mother & I have tried to impress upon her the ability she has to communicate with us about ANYTHING without the threat of punishment or even judgement. This policy has proven, positive results.

    It just seems to me that without the security of being able to freely speak or write or print about anything that concerns us (as individuals or as a family or as a group, race or nation or planet) we are doomed.

    As postscript, I leave two favorite quotes.

    “The President is merely the most important among a large number of public servants. He should be supported or opposed exactly to the degree which is warranted by his good conduct or bad conduct, his efficiency or inefficiency in rendering loyal, able, and disinterested service to the Nation as a whole. Therefore it is absolutely necessary that there should be full liberty to tell the truth about his acts, and this means that it is exactly necessary to blame him when he does wrong as to praise him when he does right. Any other attitude in an American citizen is both base and servile. To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public. Nothing but the truth should be spoken about him or any one else. But it is even more important to tell the truth, pleasant or unpleasant, about him than about any one else.”

    “Roosevelt in the Kansas City Star”, 149
    May 7, 1918

    “Short live the king.”

    Yours truly

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